No matter if you’re a fan, the Barack Obama trading card set produced by Topps seems to be giving the industry a nice start to 2009.
America gets a new President today and with Obama autographs and other memorabilia flying off the shelves in Washington D.C. and elsewhere, retailers are hoping it signals a new start for them too.
Manufacturers have struggled lately to find sports card products that generate much of a buzz, but the hubbub surrounding a new era in American politics is proof that cards aren’t dead.
Topps got the jump by producing a set of Obama trading cards focused on the 44th President’s road to the White House. The 90-card, 18-sticker set comes at a time when the industry is looking for a product to generate attention. The Obama cards have done that, receiving mentions in a number of national and regional media outlets.
While some locations aren’t selling the boxes and packs as fast as others, the general indication is that the set has been a hit. Boxes, packs and single cards hit market this month.
Topps, in fact, has been getting orders from outside the traditional distributiion points including major retailers like Hallmark. It’s believed the company has had to crank up its presses again to meet the demand, with some distributors sold out of the product.
There are six cards per $1.99 pack, putting it within reach of a broad base. Less than 25 packs should yield a complete set. A ‘chase card’ showing Obama in his high school basketball uniform, is seeded one per 192 packs while a redemption ‘Presidential Pup’ card is in one of every 384 packs. Topps will produce the card once the new first family gets the dog Obama promised his daughters. Foil stamped parallel cards are also included in packs.
Each of the 90 cards comprising the Barack Obama Inaugural Edition chronicle a different part of his life, from growing up in Hawaii to his college days at Columbia and Harvard, to his job as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side to his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004 and on to the campaign and eventual victory. Poignant relationships with his parents, grandparents, wife, children and other family members are featured, as well as those with political figures and global leaders, in photos and words, many culled from Obama’s own speeches and writings.
Cards of supporters such as Bruce Springsteen, Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy are also included.
Topps is no stranger to non-sports milestones in American history. In the 1960’s Topps marketed President Kennedy and ‘Man on the Moon’ cards and in the 1990’s devoted a series based on the nation’s Desert Storm initiative.
“The presidential election of Barack Obama is a milestone event destined to be written about and discussed for generations,” said Topps CEO Scott Silverstein. “Through the medium of its familiar trading cards, Topps is proud and honored to offer consumers with a one-of-a-kind keepsake of this remarkable moment.”